LHC Orders Police to Locate and Produce Imran Riaz Khan in Court by Monday
The Lahore High Court (LHC) has issued a directive to the police to locate and present anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan in court by Monday. Imran has been missing since his arrest at Sialkot airport on May 11, which took place amidst protests following the arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan. Despite a writ petition filed on May 12 and subsequent orders from the LHC, Imran’s whereabouts remain unknown. The court has now given the police a deadline of 48 hours to recover Imran and present him before the court.
Registration of FIR and Legal Proceedings
A First Information Report (FIR) was registered at Civil Lines police station on the complaint of Imran’s father, Muhammad Riaz. The FIR implicated unidentified individuals and police officials under Section 365 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which pertains to kidnapping or abducting a person with the intention of wrongful confinement. In the hearing presided over by LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti, Punjab Inspector General Dr Usman Anwar presented a progress report on the recovery efforts. The IG stated that there was no connection between the police vehicle and Imran’s alleged abduction, based on CCTV footage. However, the LHC CJ questioned this assertion and ordered the CCTV recording to be played in court.
Legal Arguments and Court Directives
Imran’s lawyer, Azhar Siddique, argued that his client was surrounded and forcibly taken away in a vehicle. Justice Bhatti raised concerns about security arrangements outside the jail, referring to CCTV footage showing Imran being taken away. The IG informed the court that security arrangements were typically not in place outside the jail unless deemed necessary. Siddique responded, highlighting the raid conducted at Imran’s residence and stating that the police’s intentions were now clear. The LHC CJ addressed the police, requesting a written explanation for the raid at Imran’s house. The court directed the police to recover and present Imran in court by Monday, granting them additional time to comply with the order.